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Conference Report:The 4th International Symposium on Ethical Literary Criticism Held in Shanghai China

Sponsored by School of Foreign Languages, SJTU, Foreign Literature Studiesand the International Association for Ethical Literary Criticism (IAELC), the 4th International Symposium on Ethical Literary Criticism was successfully held from 20th to 21st December 2014 at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.
This conference was received with unprecedented enthusiasm from nearly 300 scholars  from  more  than  10  countries  and  regions,  including  such  internationally recognized scholars as Marjorie Perloff, Charles Bernstein, William Baker, Ansgar Nünning, Vera Nünning, Simon C. Estok,Péter Hajdu, Geoff Hall, Jüri Talvet, Knut Brynhildsvoll,  Brian  Reed,  Igor  Olegovich  Shaytanov, Youngmin  Kim, Yuanmai
Wu, Zhenzhao Nie, Biwu Shang, Hui Su, and Lianggong Luo.
Illuminating were 17 plenary speeches. Zhenzhao Nie mainly focused on the function of literature and the significance of ethical selection. WilliamBaker briefly traced the history of ethical criticism in the West and identified the significant work on ethical criticism done by Chinese scholars. Jüri Talvet stressed the importance of synthesizing ethics and aesthetics. Ansgar Nünning and Vera Nünning attempted to bridge the gap between narratology and ethical criticism. Geoff Hall tried to make stylistics and ethical criticism co-work in literary studies. Simon C. Estok and Péter Hajdu  observed  the  necessity  of  including  ethical  concern  in  ecological  studies. Some  other  scholars  tried  to  read  ethical  literary  criticism  across  different  literary works, such as Marjorie Perloff, Charles Bernstein and Di Wu’s reading of poetry, Biwu Shang and Hui Su’s reading of fiction, Jie Zheng and Lianqiao Zhang’s reading of drama.
This  conference  was  also  saliently  marked  by  its  “Special  Forum  on  Ethics and Medicine in Literature: in Memory of Joseph K. Perloff”, which suggested the possibility of ethical literary criticism going beyond literature. Equally impressive were the fruitful discussions at 14 panel sessions, covering a broad range of topics, such as political ethics, religious ethics, gender ethics, racial ethics, narrative ethics,
ecological ethics, and cultural ethics.
At the closing ceremony, Hui Su, Secretary of IAELC, proclaimed the successful ending of the 4th International Symposium on Ethical Literary Criticism, while  enthusiastically  looking  forward  to  the  5th  International  Symposium  on Ethical Literary Criticism which will be held in Seoul, South Korea, from 1st to 7thOctober, 2015.
(Wu Jie, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)

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